It’s been 50 years since Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon, and Sydney Festival 2019 is marking the anniversary with three installations.
At Darling Harbour there will be five huge, bouncy, water-filled “moon drops” made for bouncing, jumping and rolling for what the makers are calling a “moon-inspired mini-adventure”.
At Barangaroo there is a series of statues called Apollo 11 honouring those who made the moon landing happen, from mathematicians to astronauts. While at World Square, Fly Me to the Moon is an interactive installation encouraging everyone in the city to jump on the “flying bike” Lunar Velocipede installation and cycle the 384,400 kilometres it takes to get to our nearest planetary neighbour.
It’s this last concept that inspired the creation of the Sydney Festival Moon Route Map – a 7.8-kilometre city cycle path with stops at these intergalactic-themed festival installations, as well as other venues hosting festival events. The Google map includes directions as well as descriptions of the exhibitions. Pick up a “Lunar Passport” at one of the three installations, and mark off locations as you visit them – the first 100 people to present a full passport at one of the sites will receive a Sydney Festival goodie bag.
There’s no prescribed order to the route, but it takes in the Lunar Velocipedes at World Square, the winged, pedal-powered rickshaws on which festival participants can help contribute to the lunar kilometres. In addition to the distance racked up at this site, people can donate the kilometres they cycle on their own bikes in their day-to-day, or even those burnt at a spin class. Participants must register to log their kilometres, and will be in the running for various prizes.
The map takes riders to the Sydney Observatory, where visitors can learn a local Indigenous language, including words and phrases to describe the night sky.
From the observatory, cycle on to the State Library where, fittingly, a silent disco is being held on January 11, 18 and 25. Unusually for a library, though, there will be a bar serving literary-themed cocktails (on January 11 and 25 only – the January 18 event is all ages) for you to sip (quietly) as you dance.
Finally you’ll end up at the Art Gallery of NSW where you’ll be able to view works by Monet, Matisse and Picasso at the Masters of modern art from the Hermitage exhibition, which is showing until March 3. Head there between January 10 and 12 for the Sydney Festival event Masters of Modern Sound, which will see musicians performing tunes composed in response to the artworks on display.
Finish the route at World Square and pat yourself on the back – only 49,282 more times around the circuit and you’ll have made it to the moon.
Sydney Festival is on January 9 to January 27.